Korishe waterfalls: a picnic spot surrounded in history

Situated just outside of Prizren, Korishe is one of Kosovo’s largest villages. It is a clean and quiet place, with a stream flowing down from the mountains in between the village’s many sizable villas and past a monument to KLA soldiers who fell during the Kosovo war.

The peace and serenity of Korishe combined with its mountain views make it a perfect place to stop off while passing through. However, following the road to the right of the monument takes you to Korishe’s hidden secret, which makes the village a destination in itself.

Korishe’s small but picturesque man-made waterfalls were built in the 1960s to protect the village from flooding. However, during the summer, visitors come from all over to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Photo: Chelsea Charles/Prishtina Insight.

Habib Lushaj from nearby Suhareka tells Prishtina Insight that he visits Korishe often. “It’s a nice place to relax after a long day,” he says. “I come every weekend with my family.” 

Approaching the waterfalls, there is a parking area and a small stream with tables alongside, where you can enjoy a nice picnic next to the flowing water. The largest waterfall, surrounded by tall trees and with clean unpolluted water cascading down, is a five minute walk away.

Some time spent by the waterfalls provides a relaxing getaway from the hot city in the summer months. You can sit on the steps, breathe in the mountain air and enjoy the view, all while listening to the breeze rustling through the leaves and water splashing down onto the stones. 

A path behind the waterfall leads uphill on to a series of smaller waterfalls, offering views of Kosovo’s gorgeous green wilderness and the sunlight shining down onto the mountains below. 

Photo: Chelsea Charles/Prishtina Insight.

For those needing some sustenance after the journey, there is a restaurant called Delfini situated next to the waterfall. The tables are spread out along the stream, presenting the opportunity for a quiet drink in the tranquility of the countryside. 

The restaurant is open everyday of the week during the summer offering traditional grilled meats, including their speciality: slow, cooked baby goat (kid), which must be preordered. Delfini also serves a variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, as well as a selection of snacks. 

The owner of the restaurant, Nezir Ahmetaj, was living in Germany before the war in Kosovo, but says that he returned home to join the KLA. After the war, he opened his first restaurant, a food truck serving grilled meats. He remembers those days fondly but dreamed bigger and wanted more for the village. 

Nezir Ahmetaj’s first food truck. Photo: Chelsea Charles/Prishtina Insight.

Korishe is perhaps most famous for being the site of a NATO bombing in which a convoy of refugees were mistaken for a military target leading to the death of dozens of civilians. Survivors of the deadly blunder claimed they were set up and used as “human shields” by the Yugoslav authorities.

Nezir tells Prishtina Insight that he tried to raise money to restore the village following the destruction. He adds that he has even invested his own money and used his own tools to improve the road out of the village to the waterfalls and into the mountains. 

“As kids we all used to come here to swim,” he reminisces. “It was a place that brought the entire village happiness and joy close to home.”

In the mountains behind the waterfalls, there is a relic of an even older chapter of Kosovo’s history in the shape of a Paleochristian church from the 6th century AD, the remains of which were excavated between 2002 and 2004. These remnants of antiquity brush up against more modern history, as the remains of a KLA base, and a gravesite for those who lost their lives on the mountain are also found in the mountains behind Korishe. 

The church is around 5 kilometres down the road from the waterfalls, but is only accessible on foot or with a four wheel drive vehicle.

Reaching Korishe is easiest by car, and is a roughly 15-minute drive from Prizren and just over an hour from Prishtina. The bus from Prishtina to Prizren also passes by the village, with the waterfalls an approximately 30-minute walk from the main road. 

Korishe may have a troubled history, but the waterfalls and the efforts of the locals mean that in 2021 it is a beautiful place to sit, daydream and simply enjoy the uniqueness of the peaceful, serene local nature while contemplating the world.

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